Hosted by the Migration Study Group. Lecture by Professor Roger Waldinger.
Given the many forms of migrants’ involvements with their home communities – not to speak of the resources that they mobilize – sending states have adopted policies of diaspora engagement, seeking to both retain the emigrants’ loyalties and shape their attachments so as best to meet home state leaders’ goals. This paper seeks to gain traction on the politics of diaspora engagement by studying by two contrasting aspects of the Mexican experience – expatriate voting, a relatively new development, and provision of the matricula consular, a long-standing component of traditional consular services, though one that has recently been transformed. Focusing on the complex set of interactions linking migrants, sending states, and receiving states, the paper identifies the key differences and similarities between these two policies. Whereas expatriate voting was an effort initiated by migrant activists to which homeland leaders reacted, the matricula consular was a response by home state officials to host state policies, which in turn, changed the behavior of both migrants and host state institutions. In the end, however, the extra-territorial nature of each endeavor proved constraining, which is why both migrant activists seeking the expatriate vote and Mexican officials looking for a way resolve the migrants’ problems in the United States ultimately met with frustration.
Paper available for download here
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Center for Mexican Studies, the Irene Flecknoe Ross Lecture Series in the Department of Sociology; the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment; International Institute
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